We all know that holidays are a time where we dread packing on the extra pounds because of all the temptations with rich foods around us. I find that when it comes to preparing for cocktail parties or casual get togethers, people tend to gravitate to the same old cheeses, or that typical spinach/mayo dip that we have all seen a million times. It is easy to “dip” into the same old habits, when in fact there are so many ways to munch and snack with healthier choices that actually taste amazing

I love dips. They are so much fun, easy to prepare, and can be extremely nutritious. Here are my favorites that are a hit every time!

Olive Tapenade

Besides being a delicious spread or dip, olives are extremely healthy and are a good source of calcium, iron, copper, and vitamin e. I always recommend going for organic olives if possible.

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped basil

1 clove garlic chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

sea salt and pepper to taste

12 olives pitted

Blend all the ingredients except the olives together until the mixture is creamy. Add the pitted olives and blend until you can only see small pieces of olives.

Sunflower Seed Hummus

Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats and are a good source of zinc and selenium.

2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours

1/2 cup water

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive or sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons tahini

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender. Adjust the consistency by adding more or less oil and water.

Easy Guacamole

Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and loaded with potassium …more than bananas!!

2 ripe avocados

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon herbal salt

Simply combine all the ingredients until smooth. For variety, you can always add some chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, and a bit of onion.

Serve your dips with a combination of raw veggies and your favorite crackers. Remember to choose the crackers with the least ingredients in their label and please avoid all hydrogenated oils.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and enjoyable holiday season!

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